- Religion and Philosophy
On God And Time
Quite often we hear the words, "God's time is not our time," or "God's ways are not our ways." Both sayings can go hand in hand as truly sometimes the things which occur in our lives seem to happen not only at the wrong time but it may be something we would not choose for ourselves.
The saying, "God's time is not our time," is a puzzling one because it brings forth the question, if God's time is not our time then what time exactly does God have? And whose time do we have if not God's?
The time which we do operate on, that is, the time we worked out in order to know what exactly is past, present and future, is contained in God's time, after all, He is the Creator of time. But time as a whole is controlled by Him so that everything He does is on time. As a matter of fact, one can see from His word, that God is a very punctual God and perfectly organized. He even has books where His appointments and ours are kept.
God's Appointment Book For Death
The Bible states in Hebrews 9:27 , that each and every person has an appointment with death and then after with judgment. Job 7:1 also says, "Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?"
Once there is life, there is death. So it has been since the beginning. Every living thing has a beginning and an end. It is so because the time to live occurs and then the time to die occurs. Time it seems is also wrapped up in life and death and does not only count days and years. Within time are the many hourglasses filled with the sands of our lives and when the last grain of sand falls, our time is up.
Even though we are appointed to die, sometimes, the appointment is flexible. Make no mistake, we all must die and God does know the day when He will call forth our souls, but sometimes, He chooses an alternate date.
Take for instance Hezekiah. In the book of Kings we read that Hezekiah was desperately ill and the prophet Isaiah came to him and told him to get his affairs in order for the Lord would soon require his presence. It was Hezekiah's time to die. His appointment time was near and the secretary was about to say "Next". Yet when Hezekiah wept bitterly and pleaded with the Lord in prayer, He heard him and sent Isaiah to tell him, that He would grant him fifteen more years. So Hezekiah's appointment was postponed. (2 Kings 20) Today, there are many whose appointments are postponed. Some realize it and others do not. But think of it - if someone's appointment is postponed at a doctor's office, then what happens? Another appointment is moved up isn't it?
Just as appointments are postponed so are others moved up. These would be, perhaps, the ones whom we feel were taken too soon in life. Though their appointments were possibly moved up, the time was according to the Lord. He gives and takes away. Which brings me to Job as an example. His children were all taken in one sweep, as the Lord gave permission for it to be so.
God And Stoppage Time
Since God is the Master of time, He is able to slow it down, speed it up and even stop it. An example of such a time when He halted the day would be, of course, when Joshua prayed that the sun would not go down. It was the longest day. Actually it was an extra day. So God added extra time to a day just as extra time is added to a football match!
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.Joshua 10: 13-14 K.J.V.
An example that time can speed up is recorded all over the Bible. For example when Jesus and the disciples were on the boat and it said immediately they reached the other side. See John Chapter 6. One recent example is the fact that the earth actually sped up as a result of the earthquake in Japan. It is said that time was shortened by 1.6 microseconds and that is hastened the rotation of the earth. This is not the first time the days have been shortened as a result of an earthquake as it was said that the earthquake in Sumatra caused the earth to speed up by 6.8 microseconds. I find this to tie in with what is said in Matthew Chapter 24, where Jesus says that no flesh would be saved, except the days were shortened and that they would be shortened for the elect's sake. Could this be the beginning of God's shortening of days? Well that is just a musing of mine.
God and Deliverance
Time always plays a significant role in God's deliverance of His people. One need only open the Book of Exodus to see that God's timing was, yet again, perfect. The children of Israel had endured years of hardship and each day, I am sure, would ask the question, "Where is our deliverance?" God made it so that the time was appropriate to set them free. He had it planned from the start. As a matter of fact, I dare to say, that God's action is not delayed at all but rather, He begins His response from the moment deliverance is begged for, however, His process appears to take long to us for we cannot see the details within them.
Consider Daniel who fasted and prayed for an answer and it took quite some time for him to get a reply. It turns out, as was explained to him by the angel, that no sooner had Daniel prayed, his prayer had been answered and a messenger sent. Many things had to be conquered before the message arrived, however. We cannot always see God's path and therefore, we cannot always understand His time. (See Daniel 10: 12-13)
One can also consider the daughter of Jairus, who died it would seem, because Jesus did not reach to her in time. However, He proved that His time was the right time and with but a word, the girl was alive again. Martha told our Lord the self same thing that runs through our minds when troubles face us - "Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died" How often we say, if God had answered my prayer, or if He had not allowed this to come to pass. We do not understand that His tie and purposes work together to produce the right conditions for the right time. Lazarus, though dead, was raised and he had been dead for four days.This is testimony indeed that even when all hope seems to be lost and there is but a memory of its faint sweet scent, when it seems yes, that time has expired, God shows up and demonstrates that He is the only one with the final word. Only He can say "It is finished." and thus close the door to a certain time. It is His voice that commands time and His voice which will end times of sorrow, death, despair, and disconsolation.
To go back once again to the saying - God's time is our time, we just don't heed it. Time is but a servant to God, just as we are. Perhaps we wish to be the masters of time ourselves and that is why it so frustrates us when it does not do our will, but His. But time, unlike us, does not dare disobey the Lord, God.